Poet remembered

Dean Johnson with Christopher Timothy at the Bullets and Daffodils premiere.
Dean Johnson with Christopher Timothy at the Bullets and Daffodils premiere.
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A passionate and powerful musical drama tribute to World War One poet Wilfred Owen is to be staged at Blackpool’s re-opened Cedar Tavern later this month.

Bullets and Daffodils, sets the poet’s words to contemporary music.

It recently saw an all star cast headed by Christopher Timothy with recorded contributions from Pink Floyd’s David Gilmore (Pink Floyd) perform a sold out premiere in London.

Written by Birkenhead songwriter Dean Johnson, who attended the same school as Owen, the show is an evening of music, dance and spoken word and is a passionate tribute to the poet and soldier.

A unique element to the drama’s script are world exclusive extracts from newly discovered Owen family letters. Kept secret until now they shed new light on the Wilfred Owen myth and overturn almost a century of misconception of his mother Susan.

The performance at The Cedar Tavern is part of the Wilfred Was Here tour and follows in the poets footsteps from his time on the Fylde Coast where on his mother’s advice, he came to Blackpool while he was based in Fleetwood in command of firing parties to purchase a trench-coat.

It was staged earlier this year at the North Euston Hotel in Fleetwood, just yards from where, as a second lieutenant in the Manchester Regiment, Owen was based on Bold Street in 1916.

He was in charge of the gunnery range, where Fleetwood Golf Course now stands, and there is a plaque on the house where he stayed. Tragically, he was killed just before the First World War ended.

His shocking, realistic war poetry on the horrors of trenches and gas warfare was in stark contrast to both the public perception of war at the time, and to the confidently patriotic verse written earlier by war poets such as Rupert Brooke. Among his best-known works – most of which were published posthumously – are Dulce et Decorum Est, often studied in schools, Insensibility, Anthem for Doomed Youth and Futility.

Bullets and Daffodils is being staged on Saturday September 29 at 7pm at The Cedar Tavern, 15 Cedar Square, Blackpool. Tickets are available at £6 (concessions £4) from 07714 497382 – www.thecedartavern.net.